Purpose: This research study investigated the relationship between participative decision-making and innovative work behavior by considering the moderating role of power distance orientation of individuals. Grounded in the approach-inhibition theory of power, the authors proposed that participative decision-making could mitigate perceived power gap and motivate individuals with high power distance orientation to engage more in innovative work behavior.
Design/methodology/approach: Survey data were collected from 243 faculty members from 2 universities located at Dhaka, Bangladesh. The partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) was used for data analysis.
Findings: The results from the model estimation showed that the positive relationship between participative decision-making and innovative work behavior was stronger among faculty members with high power distance orientation than those with low power distance orientation. The simple slope analysis also clarified the fact that faculty members with high power distance orientation could increase their innovative work behavior to be at the same level as that of faculty members with low power distance orientation when the members were involved highly in participative decision-making.
Practical implications: Participative decision-making is a management practice that should be implemented in order to motivate faculty members to actively engage in innovative work behavior. Particularly for faculty members who are sensitive towards the power status of other members in the workplace, this management practice is highly recommended to lessen the perceived social barrier that discourages these faculty members from engaging in innovative work behavior.
Originality/value: The authors’ research advanced knowledge from prior studies by offering new theoretical insight into the role of empowerment practice that could motivate individuals with high power distance orientation to engage more in innovative practices.